Judy Albright and Jennifer H. Smith- Design and Publishing

Elizabeth Davis - Editor

March 2024

Get quiet and listen

Rev. Elizabeth Gleich

Dear Church,


By the time you read this, we will be well into the season of Lent. If we allow it, Lent is a time when we can get quiet with ourselves and listen to the “still small voice” of God speaking to us in the wilderness. I’m always grateful for this invitation to deeper intimacy with God. I hope that so far, this season has been a rich time of reflection for you.


While Lent is known as the “church’s springtime,” it also literally means to “lengthen.” Indeed, the days are getting longer; the sun is starting to set a little later each evening. It may not seem like it now, but before we know it, tulips will start to push through the ground! Birds will start to wake us up in the morning! Spring will be here soon, friends. Liturgically, the 40 days of Lent are 40 opportunities to look for and discover new things starting to bud within us. Even though Lent can feel like a very heavy time in the church calendar, it’s actually a chance for us to cling to new life … Resurrection life.


At the end of the month, we will enter into Holy Week—those full, sacred days when we walk with Jesus toward the cross, the empty tomb, and resurrection. I hope that when we get there, each of us can be fully present to all that Holy Week contains. We will face these days as a community of faith, rooted in God’s love, together journeying toward new life in Christ. This year, as in every year, I hope you join us in celebrating Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday here at church and around Middlebury.

Holy Week at MiddUCC

Palm Sunday, March 24: 10:00 a.m. in the sanctuary  
Maundy Thursday, March 28: 6:00 p.m. soup and bread; 
              7:00 p.m. Maundy Thursday service in Fellowship Hall
- Good Friday, March 29: 12:00 noon ecumenical service at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
- Easter Sunday, March 31:
               6:30 a.m. Easter Sunrise service at Alumni Stadium, Middlebury College
               10:00 a.m. service in the sanctuary


All are welcome!


God bless you in these holy days.



Pastor Elizabeth




We welcomed Pastor Elizabeth back and welcomed several new members of Council.

We reviewed the Treasurer’s report. We listened to reports from Pastor Elizabeth and Pastor Andy. Andy reported that the Pastor’s Discretionary Fund has a new account and that the money that was stolen has been paid back. The 2024 Youth Service trip will be to Philadelphia.

Leanna reviewed the responsibilities of Church Council and oriented members to Google Drive. Mal Chase was elected Vice-Moderator.

Lyn DeGraff was elected to a 1-year term on the Board of Missions and Social Concerns.

Council approved the new job description for the Director of Music.

Council approved the revised job description for the Director of Children and Youth Ministries.

We had a good discussion on the topic of having a congregational survey. After listening to many ideas, it was decided to do more research and continue the discussion at our next meeting.

Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Foster, Clerk

  • Between annual meetings, the Church Council meets once a month to fulfill its responsibility to coordinate the church's programs and business. Council has the powers generally ascribed to a corporation's board of directors.

    The Church Council is composed of the following Church members:  Moderator, Clerk, Treasurer, Senior Pastor, Associate Pastor, and the chairpersons of the six church boards. Also, there are three at-large members. One is elected every year and serves a 3 year term.

  • The basic life and work of the church is under the direction and supervision of church boards, which meet monthly at the All Boards Meeting and report to the Church Council. Members of these boards are elected from the membership of the church. 

Open Door Clinic: Increasing access to healthcare

The clinic is free for uninsured and underinsured adults in Addison County. Volunteer medical professionals provide access to medical care. Many (but not all) patients are part of migrant farm communities. Initially, doctors and nurses traveled by bus to see patients. In 1993, a free-standing clinic was established in Middlebury, followed by a second clinic in Vergennes in 2010.


Dear Church,

The season of Lent, a season of walking with God and deepening our spiritual life, begins with Ash Wednesday and leads to Holy Week. This year, I wanted to offer some resources and spiritual practices for our church families. So I mailed the families with children in our Church School a package with a 40 Days of Prayer calendar with a scratch-off prompt for each day, and a weekly devotional that includes a Scripture reading, a reflection, and an activity for each of the Sundays of Lent. Lent devotionals are written to be used by children and adults of all ages. If you would like a copy of these for your own Lent journey, do let me know. I will gladly provide you with one. I believe our families will find questions and discussion topics in each devotional that will work for everyone, no matter their age.

You might also notice the bulletin board outside my office. I encourage you to write a prayer on a sticky note and put it on the board (using tape so that it stays on). There are a few prayers there already, but I hope that this prayer wall grows as we go deeper into this Lent.

I hope these resources help you find meaning during this season. Blessings on the journey.



Coffee and fellowship!

On Wednesday, March 6, Pastor Andy will host an informal gathering from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. in Unity Hall. Coffee. Conversation. Probably some carbs. Stop by and say hi if you can.

Welcome New Member: 

Vanda Crook

Vanda joined our church in November 2023.


My name is Vanda Crook and I was born in a small pulp and paper town at the very top of Lake Superior called Terrace Bay, Ontario. Eventually, my family was transferred and emigrated to Neenah, WI in 1955, then to Toronto, Ontario, back to Neenah, WI, and eventually ending up in Glens Falls, NY.


I graduated from ACC in Glens Falls and started working for Continental Insurance, then moved to Burlington, VT to work for an insurance agency, eventually running an office in Warren, VT. It was while living in Warren I decided to become a private pilot. I loved it and decided to quit my job and pursue the required ratings to become a commercial pilot.


My commercial aviation career began in the late 1970s flying turbo props for several small commuter airlines based in Burlington and Plattsburgh. My career lasted over 30 years from line pilot, to Chief Pilot, finishing as a VP of Operations.


My husband and I met at Air North. He was a captain and I was a first officer. We have been married over 40 years, and in addition to our passion for flying, we loved golden retrievers and have adopted many over the years.


Over a year ago we made the big leap of moving to Eastview, leaving our home of 33 years in Hinesburg, VT. We love the area, and I volunteer at Homeward Bound Humane Society, play chimes in the Eastview Orchestra, snow shoe, and hike.


After getting settled, I knew I needed to find my church. Several people from Eastview suggested the Congregational church. I started attending and loved how I felt, so much love and support, plus I get to sit with Holly and Lois. I’m still taking in all the church offers and I am sure I will find my niche and continue enhancing my faith.

Welcome new member: 

Sarah Frisch

I live in Middlebury with my two children, Sylas, who is ten, and Rayna, who is five, as well as our dog and two cats.


We were initially drawn to the church because of the youth program and the focus on social justice. It has been amazing to see how welcoming and caring everyone has been, and the kids are really enjoying being a part of church school.


I work as a hospice and palliative care nurse and wound care consultant at Addison County Home Health and Hospice, which I love, and I am also working towards a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at UMass Amherst.


In our spare time, the kids and I take taekwondo together and they are involved in skiing/ snowboarding and other activities. My absolute favorite thing to do when we have downtime is read, and it has been exciting to see both of the kids start to love books as much as I do. I also enjoy finding time to hike and go to the gym and I am hoping to run my first 5K this summer.


I look forward to continuing to get to know the church community better and finding ways to be involved.

Welcome new member: 

Colleen Ringquist

I am one of seven kids, raised in Fair Haven, VT.


I graduated from St. Michael’s College in Burlington and then spent 36 years teaching high school math, most of it at Middlebury Union High School. I live in Bomoseen with my husband, Eric, who is a retired Language Arts teacher. We have two grown children who work in education as well.


Since retiring three years ago, I’ve taken up painting and have been relearning the piano. Eric and I play a ton of golf and spend a lot of time socializing with friends and family. Additionally, I love reading, coaching, trivia, taking leisurely bike rides, and the Green Bay Packers. I do volunteer work through my local Rotary Club, where I am the Youth Exchange Officer. I act as the point person for our Paraguayan exchange student. It’s been a lot of fun spending time with him and getting to know him.


One of the best things about retirement is the opportunity to travel. Each winter Eric and I explore the East Coast as we make our way to Punta Gorda, Florida, where we settle in for a few months. Last year we spent three weeks visiting Baltic Sea countries. We are currently in the planning stage of our next adventure, which will take us to Spain or Greece.


I was drawn to our church because of its focus on inclusivity and service, as well as the thoughtfully composed, hopeful sermons. I generally attend the service online, but when I’ve worshiped in person I’ve enjoyed reconnecting with familiar faces and meeting new folks. Everyone has been really welcoming!

Red clover children center

We’re in our second week of being fully up and running. As with any new enterprise, we are experiencing some major wins and some minor challenges. We’re grateful for your ongoing enthusiasm and support as we find our stride and develop this program.

It is hard to really get a sense for the day-to-day operations at Red Clover because, as a licensed childcare program, we need our space to be secure. We’re also aware that people are curious and excited to know what’s going on and that none of what we’re accomplishing would be possible without the generosity of the church community. With that in mind, the Board and Tessa are brainstorming ways to help provide the church community with some snapshots of the center’s daily routines and rhythms. Please stay tuned and know that we are excited to be able to share with you as we grow. 

For those who might be interested in seeing who is working with the children at Red Clover, we didn’t actually provide you with useful information last week. The second time’s the charm! There is a staff listing taking shape that you can access on the Red Clover's website here. You can see the center’s calendar here

We also have some exciting updates regarding Board membership. The Board approved two new members in the past two months. We’re thrilled to be welcoming Judy Jessup to the Red Clover Board and our new parent representative is Casey Schine. As most of you know, Judy is a long-time church member and a tireless volunteer. Casey and her husband have a Cricket and a Firefly at Red Clover. Welcome aboard Judy and Casey. We’re grateful for your time and talents!

- Alyssa Sinclair, secretary

Green Team Reflection for Lent: Environmental Racism

The Green Team invites you to a conversation about environmental racism on Sunday, March 3, 2024, at 11:30 a.m. in Unity Hall. You can also join us online for this 90-minute presentation and conversation using this Zoom link.

We will view a video featuring Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley for a conversation about environmental racism and his experiences as an environmental justice activist. A Q&A session will follow, and pizza and cider will be served. Thanks, Green Team

One great hour of sharing

One Great Hour of Sharing is an annual, special offering of the United Church of Christ. Our congregation's response to this appeal will provide direct assistance to communities around the world that are, even now, leveled by poverty, hunger, sickness, war and natural disaster. At a time when the climate crisis and systemic injustices tempt us into despair, we are afforded this opportunity to act from the depths of faith, hope and love. The collection will be made on March 10th. Please look for our mailing in early March. Thank you for your generosity, The Board of Mission and Social Concerns

Helping Hands

We will be meeting on Monday, March 4th from 10:15-12:15, all are welcome. Our task this month will be to wipe down pews, so bring your mop bucket. We had a wonderful turnout last month and got a lot accomplished. Any question contact, Dorothy Douglas at jdmamidd@comcast.net or 802-388-6257.

Men's and LAdies' Lunch

Ladies’ Lunch at Route 7 South Sandwich Co. The Ladies’ Lunch on March 21st at 11:30 am will be held at Route Seven South Sandwich Co. Please sign up to attend by Wednesday, March 20th at 12:00 pm so we can let Route 7 South know how many people to expect. Questions can be directed to Erika Garner at garnersvt@gmail.com

Sign up link

Men’s Lunch Bunch at Rosie’s The Men's Lunch Bunch will be held at Rosie’s Restaurant on March 21st at noon. If you plan to attend the lunch or have questions, please contact Mal Chase at patandmalchase@gmail.com.

Share comfort food in March!

Every Can Counts! Your Board of Mission and Social Concerns invites you to join us in collecting food for HOPE (Helping Overcome Poverty's Effects) on our March Sundays. We set a lofty goal of 3 tons of food collected by the end of the year. As of now we are close to 600 pounds-a wonderful start. If it's easier to make a cash donation we can do the shopping for you (by check, please specify HOPE). We're so heartened by the generous outpouring of our church community, and if it seems like were asking for food more frequently, it's because we are! We've set a big goal to meet a big need. As always, thank you!

special tour of Hope

With gratitude for the outpouring of generosity by our church congregation, you are invited to join HOPE board members James Calvin Davis and Kristie Skor for a special tour of HOPE’s facilities and services with Executive Director Jeanne Montross and Director of Development Heather Potter. Learn more about the many ways that HOPE is able to improve the lives of low income people in Addison County, thanks to your support.

Monday, March 25
1:00 p.m.
HOPE 282 Boardman Street
RSVP Kristie Skor - skorfamily@gmail.com

Space is limited to six people per tour, so please register in advance for your preferred date. Contact James or Kristie at the emails provided with any questions!

looking for green thumbs

In May, we'll be hosting our fourth(!) annual Seedling Giveaway at MiddUCC. The date is still TBD, but right now we are looking for people willing to grow seedlings this year. We are looking for all sorts of veggies and herbs, such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, greens, squash, basil, parsley, mint, and rosemary.

We will give them away to members of our congregation and donate seedlings to CVOEO to share with the community members who visit their Food Shelf. Please, let Su (sureidstjohn@gmail.com) or Eliana (eliana@midducc.org) know if you are interested in growing and contributing to this project.

Thank you,
The Green Team

Ordering Easter flowers

It is time to order Easter Flowers to brighten our sanctuary on Easter Sunday, March 31. Daffodils and Tulips are available to purchase, and you can take yours home after the Easter service or donate them to Pastoral Care. The cost is $24.00 per plant. You can order them after church on Sunday morning OR order online

Who is atria Collective?

The Board of Mission and Social Concerns would like you to know how our missions dollars are spent each year. We decided to tell you about an organization our church gave to last year:


Atria Collective (formerly called WomenSafe) is a nonprofit based in Middlebury that provides advocacy, education, and social change to end gender-based violence in Addison County. Their core values are collective liberation, transformation, safety, justice, and joy. Everything they do, from goals to process, orients around how to support everyone in accessing these five fundamental human rights. This work strengthens the community in large and small ways. See www.atriavt.org for more information.

Historically speaking:

Founders Day

Another question to further your knowledge about the history of our church: How do we celebrate the age of the Middlebury Meeting House?


Many changes attended the presumed simple task of “sticking the meeting house stake.” The proposed location of the church building was several times changed, but the present site having at length been decided on, the building began in the spring of 1806. There was a dedication of the Meeting House upon its completion on May 11, 1809; subsequently, there have been four rededications, one every 50 years. Fortunately, records exist such that we can describe the program for all (re)dedications, except one (the 50th). We obtain an ever developing story of the edifice every 50 years—changes in the story line reflect the viewpoints of the different keynote speakers. In the following table, five (re)dedications are summarized. The specific details of each program, if they are known, are given after the table.

Meeting House Dedications / Anniversaries





31 May 1809

Rev. Heman Ball (Rutland) –sermon based on the text from Genesis 28, 17; Rev. Thomas A. Merrill, settled pastor





(50th )


No special service; Rev. James T. Hyde, settled pastor





(100th )


30–31 May 1909

Program available (4 pages; 5 ½ x 8 ½); the centennial celebration of the meeting house was a two-day event; the keynote delivered by Rev. Ezra Brainerd, D. D., LL., H. D., was titled “The Church’s Past”; Rev. Charles H. Dickinson, settled pastor





(150th )


25 Oct 1959

Program available (4 pages; 5 ½ x 8 ½); Vesper Service at 5:00 p.m. – [Rev. Walker T. Hawley (local Minister), Rev. Max H. Webster (Conference Minister) and Dr. Stephen A. Freeman (Speaker)]. Birthday and Family Supper and at 6:30 p.m.; pictures of the  church and glimpses into our activities; Rev. Walker T. Hawley, settled pastor





(200th )


19 Apr, 16 May 30–31 May 2009

Several events, including a Bicentennial Celebration Concert. Rev. Jonathon New, Interim





(250th )

ca 2059

250th Anniversary to be scheduled





1809 – Dedication of the Completion of the Meeting House

Pastor Merrill opened the dedication service with an Invocation, then read a part of the prayer of Solomon at the dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 6): “I have built a house of habitation for Thee, and a place for Thy dwelling forever.”

The sermon was preached by the Rev. Heman Ball of Rutland, from the words of Jacob after he awoke from the vision of the angels at Bethel (Genesis 28:17): “How awesome is this place, this is none other than the house of God and this is the gate of heaven.”

Heman Ball, a Congregational minister, was born in West Springfield, MA in 1764. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1791, studied theology under Dr. Lathrop of West Springfield, and was ordained pastor of the church in Rutland, VT, 1 Feb 1797; he died 17 Dec 1821.

The Dedicatory prayer was offered by the Rev. Tullar of Royalton. Special music was provided by a choir, including the singing of an ode of seven stanzas composed by Samuel Smith.

1859 – 50th anniversary celebration

No special observation. The semi-centennial of the Meeting House and Society had been held in 1840. The Rev. Thomas Merrill, who had resigned two years before, preached the sermon.

1909 – 100th anniversary celebration

Program available; the centennial celebration of the House of Worship (meetinghouse) dedication was a two day event. The pastor, Rev, Charles Dickinson, led the Sunday morning worship, with Rev. Thomas Simms, a former pastor, preaching – “The Continuous Church,” based on Psalm 145:4.

For this two-day celebration, there were eleven presentations. Six (out of eleven) of these talks were combined in a book edited by Susan Archibald called History of the Congregational Church of Middlebury, Vt. 1790-1913. The presentation delivered by Rev. Ezra Brainerd, D. D., LL., H. D., titled “The Church’s Past,” was the keynote for the centennial celebration. His work referred back to the presentations of Rev. Ball and Rev. Merrill, and the meeting house activities of the past 50 years.

The Sunday School held a public service led by the Superintendent, John S. Weeks, later Governor. Deacons James Crane, C. B. Wright, Thomas Boyce, and John W. Stewart spoke on the work of the Church. The Evening Service had four presentations on The Century’s Religious Progress in Town and Village as viewed by the Episcopal, Methodist, and Baptist Churches, and Middlebury College.

The Monday afternoon service centered on four historic papers, each included in the book edited by Susan Archibald. The closing service contained three presentations: The Church’s Past, The Church’s Present, and The Church’s Future.

1959 – 150th anniversary celebration

Vesper Service at 5:00 p.m.; family supper and birthday party at 6:30 p.m.; presentation by Dr. Stephen Freeman; pictures of the  church and glimpses into our activities

2009 – 200th anniversary celebration

Meeting House Bicentennial Events:


-Exhibit at the Henry Sheldon Museum

-Exhibition Reception

-Lecture: Meeting House History and Architecture (Glenn Andres and Rev. Dan Wright

-Bicentennial Program: The Founders of the Meeting House (Glenn Andres and Nancy Rucker)

-Service of Celebration, followed by a potluck luncheon and a Bicentennial raffle drawing

-Guided Tours of the Congregational Church building


-Bicentennial Celebration Concert

Celebration Choir and Orchestra – Jessica Allen, Conductor


Opening Remarks – Governor Jim Douglas


“Zion’s Walls” – Aaron Copland (1900–1990)

“American Mass” – Ron Kean

Jeff Rehbach (tenor) and Louise Wright (soprano)


Community and Historic Remarks – John Emerson and Nancy Rucker


“The Tune of Milton” – Elisha West (1756–1832)

“A Heav’nly Gate” – Jeremy Allen (b. 1980): World Premiere, commissioned by The Choir of the Congregational Church




2059 – 250th anniversary celebration: to be scheduled


Question for next month: Who is Mary Orenda Pollard?

Malcolm W. Chase, Church Historian




  • March Birthdays

    • to view birthdays for any month of the year SIGN IN to our online directory.
    • Click on Calendar in the upper left of the screen.

    Dan Brown                    March 1

    Larry Jones                   March 1

    Aimee Diehl                  March 3

    Steve Jewett                 March 3

    Kisung Davis                 March 4

    Erika Garner                  March 4

    Jessica Allen                 March 5

    Pat Chase                     March 5

    David Phelps                March 7

    Colleen Ringquist          March 7

    Nathan Orvis                 March 10

    Mark Foster                  March 11

    Anthony Garner             March 11

    Annie Moore-Cox          March 11

    Winston Stattel              March 11

    Mhairi McMurray            March 12

    Paige Viens                  March 13

    Katharine Scribner         March 14

    Jake Dombrowski         March 15

    Chip Franklin                 March 15

    Sue Cady                      March 17

    Lisa Rader                    March 17

    Bob Stetson                  March 18

    Ryan Gillen                   March 19

    Brynn Kent                    March 19

    Judy Albright                 March 21

    Matthew Berg                March 21

    Sawyer Cadoret            March 22

    Seaver Cadoret             March 22

    Beatrix Jo Lyons           March 22

    Sofia Stefani                 March 23

    Elizabeth Davis             March 24

    Meredith Prouty            March 24

    Andi Lloyd                    March 26

    Peter Carothers             March 27

    Ione Brownsword          March 28

    Tana Scott                    March 28

    Conor Stinson               March 30

    David Edwards              March 31



  • March Anniversaries

    David & Patty Hallam                                         March 4

    Matt & Stacie Baldwin                                        March 7

    Matthew Cox & Annie Moore-Cox                       March 14

    Felipe Chavez Carrillo & Patrick Marshall            March 18

    Alan & Cindy Marshall                                        March 18

    Phil & Kathy Heitkamp                                       March 25

    Richard & Ruth Westfall                                     March 27